Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Digital World is Working to Keep Kids Safe Online

Recently Childhelp blogged about "Keeping Your Kids Safe on Facebook" and reported of Facebook’s current 900 million users, an estimated 7.5 million are under the age of 13, and 5 million are under the age of 10. The blog went on to give great tips to keep your kids safe on Facebook such as:
  • Know their password,
  • Be their friend,
  • Monitor their friend list,
  • Keep up with new Facebook features
One thing they didn’t discuss however, was what to do if your child is being bullied on Facebook. Sadly, we know tweens and teens aren’t just being bullied at school these days, they’re also being bullied online. Some call it social terrorism, and with nearly half of all tweens and teens experiencing some sort of online harassment or cyberbullying, it’s time to learn more about it and how to respond to it.

Learning how to stop cyberbullying is essential, but getting teens to talk about online safety may prove challenging. Fortunately, the one place many tweens and teens seem to feel comfortable having conversations and expressing themselves is helping everyone learn to navigate the net a little safer. The Facebook Family Safety Center is now helping teens and parents everywhere by teaching digital safety and responsibility.

Teens, parents, teachers and even law enforcement officers can benefit from the Facebook Family Safety Center. While many are familiar with terms like social networking and online privacy settings, others may need a refresher in concepts like digital citizenship, social reporting and secure browsing.

The Safety Center addresses many topics including: 
  • Account safety and security
  • Facebook privacy settings
  • Online bullying and harassment reporting
Even tweens and teens, who know much more than most parents about the online world of social networking, can learn a thing or two on the page dedicated to them. And if it gets them thinking or talking about online and digital safety, it’s definitely worth a look. 

Have you ever visited the Facebook Family Safety Center? Share what you’ve learned or how it got you thinking about online safety in the comments below.  

Written by Guest Blogger Stacy Pendarvis, MSW, MA of Pendarvis Consulting & Training and former Program Manager for MBF with over 16 years in the child safety and child abuse prevention field.

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